MAHOMET — Discussion of administrator contracts ended with a tally that had one Mahomet-Seymour board of education member voting “present” and another voting “no.”
The 2020-21 contracts, therefore, were approved, but only after several minutes of talks during the board’s regular meeting on Monday (March 9).
For the agenda item “non-certified administrative IMRF and administrator contracts,” recommended for approval by Superintendent Lindsey Hall, school board member Meghan Hennesy voted “no,” while member Colleen Schultz cast a “present” vote and the “yes” votes that meant a green light for the contracts were from Max McComb, Lori Larson, Merle Giles, Jeremy Henrichs and Ken Keefe.
Overall, the administrative contracts allow for a 3.3 percent increase versus last year.
But Hennesy opened discussion on the agenda item, stating she would like the school board to further discuss the contracts due to “significant changes” in language for each.
She emphasized that she supports administrative and all staff in the school district and her objection to approving the contracts Monday was no negative reflection on them.
“I want to make it very clear that this has nothing to do with a lack of trust or belief in the administrators or the people that have contracts that come before us,” Hennesy said. “I need to make that crystal clear. I feel like I’ve been painted into a bit of a corner. I tried to do this in a way that it wouldn’t ... appear that this is a lack of trust. It isn’t.
“We’ve had some significant contract language change,” she noted. “We were presented with that via email on Thursday. I would just like a(n) opportunity as the board to discuss that language and perhaps run it by our attorney.”
Giles asked, and Hall confirmed, that the district’s attorney wrote the contract language in question. The changes were discussed previously by the school board and involve the process by which administrators and staff affected by the contracts are evaluated.
“I’m simply asking for the board to be able to discuss the language,” Hennesy said.
Henrichs said board of education members talked about the changes at a previous meeting.
“We did have a discussion, and we did (give some) direction for our attorney,” he said. “We would like our superintendent to do the evaluation.”
Hennesy said, “I’m just telling you how I feel. I just wanted to express my frustration with this process.”
Also among topics at Monday’s meeting:
— The COMPASS program was highlighted via staff comments and a video presentation.
— Outgoing Chief School Business Official Trent Nuxoll was recognized after nine years with the district, and incoming CSBO Heather Smith was approved for the post.
— Technology improvements such as replacement of the district’s firewall, replacement of wireless equipment and purchase of several new Chromebooks were OK’d.